Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"You need glasses."

I had the type of day Saturday that puts everything in perspective, that makes life seem simple and clear, like putting on glasses when your vision is blurry. The people I hung out with didn’t care about having the coolest clothes or cars, the most beautiful homes or going into debt to have the latest play things. They were all winners, whether they had a lot of ability or a little.
Our family was at the Washington State Special Olympics track and field events at Ft. Lewis. Most there also didn’t think, or worry, about growing a garden or balancing a budget but that’s okay because the rest of us are here to help.

Clark and Phil both participated in the shot put (one of the first events on Saturday morning) and in separate relay races (the last event of the day). It didn’t matter that there were only two teams participating when Clark ran with a slight limp from a two-week old injury; he got a silver medal that he could take to church for his own personal show and tell. We all had loud cheers for Phil, the third leg of his relay team, as he rounded the corner passing four other runners and helping his team come in first. It was a great way to end a day of competition.

In between the two events we took Clark and Phil to a trailer set up by the bleachers where free eye examinations were given and free, prescription glasses for those who need them. Despite continual patience from everyone we came close to giving up on Phil. When he was told to open his eyes, his mouth opened instead and his eyes closed. He rubbed his eyes more than I’ve seen him rub them in the past year. Finally it was determined that his glasses from three years ago were still working well for him.
Clark had never had an eye exam so anxiety kicked in with full force. By the time he had been through all the preliminary procedures and emerged from the darkened exam room he had a furrowed brow and was muttering threats about reporting this to Bishop McCann. He had been told “You need glasses.” When he was in high school he always told his teacher that his dad would hear about this. At home it was the reverse; Mr. Harndon was going to hear about this. It is always hard to calm him down but eventually the repeated reminders of everyone in our family who wears glasses, plus friends, caused him to relax. We knew that if the glasses did not help him to see better he would not wear them and we were not going to force him to wear them. He put them on the next day when he went to church and again today. They must make a difference.

In keeping with tradition, we stopped at Taco Bell on our way home. It was a good day.

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